All Saints Flower Festival “Famous Women”

“Beautiful church, stunning flower displays”, “Wonderful welcome to the Church”, “Absolutely superb”. Just a few of the 60 lovely comments in our visitors book after the three day festival over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

It seems eons ago that Chris and Linda suggested that we put on a Flower Festival at All Saints. So as those of you who have been involved in putting on these events know, work needs to start in earnest some months before. As with these things it seems that the pace of work quickens alarmingly as the day approaches, with restless nights trying to work out just how to represent one’s chosen famous lady as well as keeping an eye on the weather forecast, sourcing cake and produce for the tent and a very considerable number of other things.

We put up the 4 Churches Festival tent on Thursday and thanks go to Andrew, Tony, Fred, Robert and Gary for their help putting it up and taking it down. Fred and I started by putting all the poles together then stood back to admire our handiwork only to realise we had a number of poles left over… so it is a bit bigger then Fred, um I think so mate…….!!

We had 27 glorious arrangements of many Famous Ladies, most of the exhibitors choosing their own lady to interpret. They came of every sort from monarchs, authoresses, social reformers, patron saints, sportswomen and artists, such as Indira Ghandi through to Beatrix Potter, Rita Sackville West, Clarice Cliff, Mary Mother of Jesus, Queens Elizabeth 1 & II, Joan of Arc and many more.

Looking at the weather forecast it seemed we would be lucky with only Monday looking a bit dodgy. By the start time on Saturday it was all systems go and we enjoyed a day of glorious sunshine and welcomed a good number of visitors. The tent did very good business with refreshments, produce and bric a brac with many of our visitors enjoying their a cup of tea and cake in the sunshine. Sunday followed a very similar pattern, but being a little more breezy we took the tables into the tent leaving just couple outside for the more hardy, who were prepared to run the risk of a chair leg disappearing down a mole hole, the fate of a couple of our guests on Saturday!! Monday was a bit more problematic on the weather front. Yours truly was at the Aylsham Show at which the heavens opened in truly biblical style. As it happened the Flower Festival enjoyed a relatively dry day with only one heavy shower over lunchtime and a large number of visitors, probably our busiest day.

These events are the product of a huge amount of hard work and commitment, led by Chris and Linda the flower arrangements were absolutely stunning so the church looked truly fabulous. Thank you all so much. Alongside the flowers there is of course the tent which was looked after by members of the PCC and friends from the Village who kept our visitors supplied with refreshments. A big thank you to the ladies and gents who volunteered and gave their time to help out in the tent. In addition we had plenty of produce in the form of vegetables, cakes and jams also provided by friends and supporters in the Village. How much hard work goes into a Flower Festival only really becomes truly apparent as you close on the final day. A slight regret that it is all over, relief, a chance to eventually put ones feet up and finally huge satisfaction in having put on such a popular and highly regarded event. Thank you so much to the many many people who helped and supported us over the three days,

About All Saints Thorpe Abbotts

Living in Thorpe Abbotts I am the Secretary to the PCC, manage the churchyard conservation area and write regularly for the Parish Magazine.
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